It’s been a while since we’ve written a blog, but with the state of the world right now, we wanted to shine a light on some small, queer, or local businesses (local if you’re in Austin) doing good/cool things during this time.
Below is a list of some companies/people who we’ve seen sharing, selling, and supporting during this time. Feel free to share this list and also to comment some businesses that you think deserve a shout out in the comments below!
*We are also highlighting free resources*
1. Bluebonnet Mask (SMALL BUSINESS + QUEER BUSINESS): Amid having business severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis, Bluebonnet Cut & Sew (our binder manufacturer here in Austin), AdaptaFit, and MENS GOLD BOXX (a company run by our good friend, Cris) put their heads together to see how they could keep their doors open, keep their skilled staff employed, and produce a product our friends and neighbors need. Each mask is made from a unique cut of fabric so no two are the same, BlueBonnet Masks are handmade, comfortable, washable, and some styles have a pocket for an insertable N95 filter. Cut and assembled in a facility that has received special permission from the city to be open during the pandemic in order to produce much needed “general non-medical, particulate filtering face masks,” which the FDA have issued as a guidance to for the general population to follow. We hope you love each unique mask as much as we love making them for you. Stay Safe Ya’ll.
Other companies making masks:
2. Fortitude Fitness (LOCAL AUSTIN BUSINESS — FREE VIRTUAL CLASSES): We go to Crossfit at Fortitude Fitness here in Austin, but during Covid-19 they’ve had to shut their doors. While we wait for this to pass, they have THREE Virtual classes each day coached by TWO of their experienced and knowledgeable coaches! ⠀⠀
These classes are open to anyone and accessible even if you don’t have equipment, so click the links on their Facebook page and give them a try!
3. Awarewolf Apparel (QUEER BUSINESS): Landon is a fellow small queer business owner and he is still cranking out tees during this time. If you have the means, please consider buying one of his rad shirts to support another trans entrepreneur.
4. Assembly Kitchen (LOCAL BUSINESS, Austin): A cool concept by two local Austin restaurants, Assembly Kitchen delivers your favorite dishes from Comedor and Holy Roller, prepared and ready to cook, along with instructional cooking videos and direct access to our chefs for questions. Order before 3pm for same-day delivery and after 3pm for the following day. Deliveries from 4-7pm daily.
5. Nike Training Club Premium (FREE FITNESS): Enjoy on-demand class-style workouts, programs, and expert tips on nutrition, sleep, and more with free access to NTC Premium to all Nike Members until further notice. While this isn’t a small business, this is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for at home workouts!
6. Remedy Urgent Care/Telemedicine (LOCAL AUSTIN BUSINESS): Remedy has shifted their model and ordered Covid-19 tests so that they can provide drive-thru testing for the Austin area. If you’re sick or think you could be sick and don’t know where to go, consider checking out Remedy.
7. OUTWOD #WERKFROMHOME (QUEER BUSINESS): The OUT Foundation and OUTWOD have launched daily classes for and by the LGBTQ+ community. Each week, we will highlight LGBTQ+ instructors from across the United States and Canada that will lead FREE classes (donations accepted).
It is important to us that we support our community in need. With studio and gym closures nationwide, many instructors are left without pay and without a way to survive - so a portion of fundraising from each class will be paid to the instructor for their time and their talent.
8. Chef Kristen Torres Meal Prep (LOCAL AUSTIN, SMALL, QUEER BUSINESS): Chef Kristen provides weekly meal prep services at a very affordable rate for the Austin area. Each week she designs a menu of four anti-inflammatory (usually gluten, dairy, and mostly grain-free — along with one vegetarian option) meals for order. Being a solo entrepreneur, Kristen can ensure that she uses best practices for keeping her meals contaminant free and to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by keeping you and your family out of the grocery store.
9. Black Swan Yoga (SMALL, LOCAL AUSTIN BUSINESS — FREE FITNESS): We have been to a few BSY classes in person before social distancing went into effect. Now you can experience their classes at home. Join us online for live yoga classes while their studios are temporarily closed. There are options for online donations that will support the BSY Teachers until things get back to normal. 100% of all donations and membership fees are going directly to their teacher relief fund.
10. Titos Vodka (LOCAL AUSTIN BUSINESS): Titos formulated and shifted their distillery resources to start producing hand sanitizer — in their first two weeks of production they have produced, packaged and donated a few tons over their initial commitment of 24 tons of hand sanitizer. With updates to their production facilities, they now have the capacity to make at least 60 tons of hand sanitizer per week for as long as there is need, and they are working on ways to increase that capacity even further.
They have donated sanitizer to critical frontline organizations in Austin and other local communities throughout Texas, as well as to New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, California and Florida.
11. FLAVNT Streetwear (SMALL QUEER BUSINESS): At FLAVNT we’ve doing the best that we can to go about business as usual while also ensuring that we are handling our products and business in a safe and responsible way. Luckily, we have a very small team and small work space so it is easy to keep cleaned and sanitary while we produce and package orders. While we have experienced some delays in supply delivery times along with Postal Service slow downs, keeping our doors open helps to support the salaries of three queer people. We are also working on producing basic (non medical grade) face masks for our customers who might be having issues getting access to face coverings.
12. Findlay Hats (SMALL BUSINESS): Findlay Hats have shifted their production to start making face shields in addition to their hats, they are currently in the process of making 17,000 medical shields for 2 local medical groups.
13. H-E-B (LOCAL TEXAS BUSINESS): According to a statement on their website, “H-E-B has been preparing for COVID-19 and we continue to make changes and work diligently to help our customers get the food and supplies they need. They are implementing safety policies that allow both customers and employees to stay safe and healthy.”